Hello, I was wondering if anyone on the forum might be able to help me out. I have recently entered the market for a new kayak to better fit my style of paddling, and have become really interested on the SOF's. First let me describe my current equipment and situation. Currently I am paddling a 12' poly Precision. It has been a pretty good boat, but it is heavy and slow. I usually train on an inland lake in Michigan daily at a distance of around 10 miles at 4-5 mph which isn't too bad. But, on the weekends my usual can be anywhere between 45 and 60 miles a day. What I am looking for is something a little lighter, but much faster in the water. I would like to be able to go further, but the 12 to 14 hours is about my max. I would like my average speed at 80 to 90% to be maintained around 6.5mph. I don't think my current unit is even capable of going that fast. I'm also not too concerned with storage space because my trips only last a day or two at the most. The kayak also needs to be capable of handling some mild Saginaw Bay and Great Lakes surf. The last issue is that I am currently deployed with the military to Africa, and I won't be home until mid-June. Therefore if I go with a SOF, I would need to have it built for me or I will be stuck using the Precision until I could finish the SOF. If anyone has any suggestions please feel free to reply.
Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:39 AM
Let me start by saying, I build boats. I have some prices on my web site. They are general and I would need to know a bit more to give what you want to give firm prices.
Of my boats, you clearly would be looking at three boats. Sling Shot, Long Shot or Firefly. They are the faster/lower resistance boat at the speeds you are talking about. If you can maintain the 6.5 mph depends on the engine, you. There is a lot of difference in maintain 5 mph clip and 6+ mph. A huge difference! The resistance on the hull climbs quite dramatically once you get above 5 mph. So there is no way I can say you will be able to maintain that. Any experienced paddler can do 5 mph in these boats and maintain it for a while. But the speeds you are talking about are takes a really strong and very fit paddler. Really not sure how realistic a maintained 6.5 mph is. I am not a racer so it hard for me to say.
Any of these boats should weigh under 35 lbs or less finished and completely read to go to the water and they are going to be noticeably faster than what you are paddling now. I can promise that!
Sling Shot it a hard chined boat. Simplest and quickest to build. But it also the least stable. Compared to what I think you are paddling it would probably scare you if you don't have experience in a narrower boat. It is also much lower volume. Not what I consider a small boat but much smaller than most commercial boats.
Long Shot and Firefly are very similar hulls. They are multi-chined so the hull is more rounded which helps lowers resistance. Therefore they are a little wider and more stable than Sling Shot. They are also higher in volume so they are bigger inside and gives you a little more room to move around These are my personal favorites. Very nice paddling boats and I think fairly well suited to your requirements.
I am going to work on new version of Long Shot soon with a more traditional styling in near future.
Kudzu Craft SOF kayaks
Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:56 AM
Thanks for the information. I have looked at your website quite frequently and love your work. The capacity of the craft really doesn't bother me all that much. I do know that I really want hatches in the front and rear. I am 5'4, and weigh around 150lbs so I can find room. I also know that comfort is an issue. I rarely use a seat back, but I like feeling like I am attached to the boat. What would be the best method to contact you to discuss what I am looking to accomplish?
Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:41 PM
I will send you may email in a private message on here. Or you can use the form on my web site. Due to spambots I really don't want to put it on the board.
Kudzu Craft SOF kayaks